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Mallets 2 - Using your mallet

In this lesson, you'll see a very efficient way of striking with your mallet; how a metal 'dummy' or 'journeymans' mallet is used, and good advice about how not to hit the end of your carving tool handle...


| 13 January 2014 08:40

Simon - Just my ordinary (round) carver's mallet, about 20 oz; nothing special, and never the dummy mallet. I'm glad you found woodcarving - I wish you a lifetime of joy and success!

| 03 January 2014 20:50

Reginald - Yes, most carvers - me included - go for the bigger wooden one first. About 20oz is a good weight. I've never really experienced a wooden mallet 'bouncing back', even with heavy blows. In physics, kinetic energy equals mass times acceleration; so the heavier wooden mallet travelling with the same accelerating strike as the metal one will deliver greater kinetic energy, more force. So you always want to use the bigger one for the roughing out and heavy work.

| 02 January 2014 01:24

Chris, I already own two sizes of brass headed "dummy" style mallets. But, if these are generally best for light tapping and detail, would you recommend that I purchase a heavier wooden one? Do wooden mallets tend to bounce back, or deliver less force than metal headed ones?

| 21 February 2013 08:12

Ernest - I heard about "carver's hoof" many years ago, from my original teacher. It was a callous sported with pride, rather like rugby players wear "cauliflower ears", but untimately a bad thing as it also meant tendon or nerve damage and a claw hand - not that that made a lot of difference: the claw hand and hoof were just the right shape for thumping the chisel handle, though not for ordering 5 pints in the pub. But I'm afraid that's all I know. Other than that I've made a point of avoiding it!

| 20 February 2013 16:58

Chris, great video series. I am learning a lot. You mentioned "wood carvers hoof" caused by hitting the end of a gouge with the heel of your hand. Can you point me to any further information on this? I have an elderly friend that appears to have this problem after a lifetime of production work.

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